Volkswagen e-up! Road Test (2014)

Volkswagen e-up! (Dashboard View) (2014)

Volkswagen up Review

Volkswagen e-up! ReviewVolkswagen e-up! Review  | Part Two

EU legislating for them to have artificially generated noise....

Comfort and Refinement

One of the great boons of a battery-powered vehicle is its quietness, so much so that serious consideration is being given to the EU legislating for them to have artificially generated noise, to alert pedestrians who might otherwise step into the road unaware of the looming presence of a vehicle. The e-up! is certainly quiet in operation, although like any electric car it is not completely silent: there is a faint whirring from the electric motor doing its work. Even so, by any standards this is a pretty quiet car.

Comfort is inhibited by the car’s diminutive size, and also by the stiffly upholstered nature of the seat design. The u-up! is reasonably comfortable, but the seats are certainly on the firm side.

Safety and Security

Safety is always something of a concern in a very small car, because you are inevitably closer to any collision than you would be in a more substantial vehicle. Fortunately the e-up! is well-regarded from a safety viewpoint because it has almost exactly the same chassis and structure as a combustion engine Volkswagen up and therefore has the same Euro NCAP crash test safety rating. Security is well catered for too with an immobilser and remote central locking with an alarm.


The e-up! has a very adequate level of equipment. It comes with standard alloy wheels, remote central locking, electric front windows and mirrors, a rear parking sensor, cruise control, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity and satellite navigation. There is no air conditioning, because it uses too much energy and can seriously handicap the range of an electric car, so with a blower but no chilling it can be a bit warm on a summer day in this car.

  • Citroen C-Zero
  • Mitsubishi i-MIEV
  • Peugeot iOn
  • Renault Zoe
What We Liked
  • Brisk acceleration for a little car
  • Good build quality, as you’d expect of a Volkswagen
  • Full five star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests
  • Smart looking with crisp styling
  • Zero emissions, at least at the tail pipe
  • Can plug into a standard three-pin electric power point
  • Fast charging in half an hour via a high-input supercharger
  • Low cost of recharging, much less than buying petrol or diesel
  • Reasonable ride quality and  handling
  • Perfect for short-distance commuting
  • Congestion charge exempt
What We Disliked
  • High price, it’s very expensive for a small car
  • Range anxiety, it’ll be out of juice within 100 miles
  • Range reduces in winter, affected by cold weather and the need to use the heater, demister, wipers
  • Use its performance liberally and the battery range drops rapidly
  • Steering feel is pretty numb
  • Can’t do a long journey without frequent recharging stops.
What We Would Like To See
  • Longer Range

Electric cars have their limitations: restricted range, the handicapping effect of cold weather, and the much higher price than an equivalent fossil fuel combustion engine model. They also have strong attributes: minimal fuel costs, very clean running, and the satisfaction of knowing you are driving one of the greenest cars on the road. If an electric car suits your short-range commuter motoring needs, this one is certainly worth looking at, as one of the best-built, best-driving EVs (electric vehicles) on the market.

22 May 2014 Sue Baker
Volkswagen e-up! ReviewVolkswagen e-up! Review  | Part Two
Volkswagen up Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolkswagen e-up!
Body Type4-door Hatchback
ColourPure White
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph12.4 Seconds
Top Speed 81 mph
Transmission1-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypeElectric
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Extra UrbanN/A
Insurance Group10
Euro NCAP Rating5-Star
Warranty3 Years / 60,000
Price (when tested on the 22/05/14)£24,250

The information contained within this Volkswagen up review may have changed since publication on the 22 May 2014. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volkswagen dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018